Ukraine’s top soccer club on Monday urged FIFA to remove Iran from the World Cup because of the country’s alleged military support to the Russian invasion.
Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin accused Iran of “direct participation in terrorist attacks on Ukrainians,” suggesting his own country’s team should play in Qatar instead as a replacement.
“This will be a fair decision that should draw the attention of the whole world to a regime that kills its best people and helps kill Ukrainians,” Palkin said in a statement one day before his team plays at Celtic in the Champions League.
The White House said Thursday that the U.S. has evidence that Iranian troops are “directly engaged on the ground” in Crimea supporting Russian drone attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure and civilian population. And the head of Ukraine’s intelligence service, Kyrylo Budanov, said in a published interview on Monday that Russian forces had used about 330 Iranian-built “Shahed” drones as of Saturday — and that more had been ordered.